Every few months or so I’ll start thinking that I need to be more active with social media than I am.
It’s a hard thing to ever accomplish because I find it so tiresome. I like to think that I’m young enough to have grown up during the rise of social media and can therefore thrive with it. I had my eight Myspace friends perfectly curated and only the best music autoplaying on my profile. I got onto Facebook in 2007, earlier than most people. I knew that part of the online world like the back of my hand.
But as all things do, everything changed. When easily recorded and streamed video became a possibility and Snapchat became a thing, I lost my foothold on social media. I just didn’t have the desire to broadcast my every moment to a group of (mostly) strangers. Once I stopped chasing after the new hotness, I lost whatever momentum I had online. None of it felt natural to me anymore. See, I wasn’t right on time to the social media revolution; I was a generation late.
However, my old affinity for social media starts itching every once in a while. I’ll leave Instagram because I’m tired of its relentless pace, but then several months later realize that we’re living in the future. We have the ability to instantly communicate with so many people across the entire planet! Why shouldn’t I be taking advantage of that? There so much power and potential available to me. Ignoring or rebelling against it would be a waste, right?
What am I, Amish?
The always recording video thing still doesn’t click with me and I don’t think it ever will. Blame the old soul in me. But I love writing, so shouldn’t that be the thing I try to do more? Where can I write about anything I want and still connect with other people? Should I get on Twitter again? I used to have fun there.
All it takes is a quick glance at Twitter to see what a dumpster fire it’s become. It used to be so great! I could post such always brilliant nonsense on there and connect with others who shared my interests. Now those who still share my interests there are being engulfed by a blaze of misogynistic, racist assholes. Twitter lost whatever backbone it might have had and is now more interested in clawing onto whatever relevance it still has.
It’s such a hateful, boring place there.
I’d heard about Micro.blog for the first time probably on a post John Gruber made on Daring Fireball. It’s been in the background of my mind for a few years now, but I didn’t take the Micro.blog plunge then because I didn’t really have a need to invest time or money into it. It wasn’t until recently that I was looking for a place where I could write about whatever happened to be on my mind (and wasn’t appropriate for my Dandy Cat Design blog) and also connect with other people. A nice community, if you will.
Manton Reece writes on the website:
Instead of yet another social network, Micro.blog is designed to work with the open web. It’s built on RSS and independent microblogs. It’s about pulling together short posts and making them more useful and easier to interact with. It prioritizes both a safe community of microblogs as well as the freedom to post to your own site.
I think this paragraph is what clinched it for me. I can’t think of another place that not only says they want to take the best aspects of the old internet and combine them with the best aspects of the new, but actually follows through on that. I haven’t been on Micro.blog for very long, but my time there has been fruitful, enjoyable, and healthy.
I cannot say the same thing about Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Fruitful, enjoyable, and healthy are not adjectives that can be applied to those places.
While Micro.blog is still a small community of people, it is growing. It’s a pleasant place to make new friends online while also sharing whatever you feel is worth putting out into the world. Plus, unlike places like Twitter, I don’t expect Micro.blog to bow down to users who spread hate on their platform. Their community guidelines forbid it and they encourage the reporting of offenders. I expect them to stick to their word, even if certain users bring a lot of traffic and attention to their service.
In my Year of Growth, I’m looking for less toxicity in my life. I want my world to be pleasant, creative, and supportive. I’m glad to have found a place that supports that goal.